How did Ron Franklin die? The Late ESPN announcer was once fired over sexism scandal

Famed ESPN announcer Ron Franklin, who is often hailed as one of the best sportscasters for college-level basketball and football, has died at the age of 79. He worked with ESPN for over two decades between 1987 to 2011 and became a fan favorite for his great voice and style. He died on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, in Austin, Texas. Franklin is survived by his wife Bonnie and one child.

Ron Franklin’s illustrious career was not bereft of controversies. In fact, he was even fired from ESPN after 20 years for making sexist and abusive remarks towards female colleagues. In 2005, Franklin called sideline reporter Holly Rowe “sweetheart” while on-air. Though it stirred much controversy, his career was not impacted until he did the same with another sideline reporter Jeanine Edwards. Franklin once told Edwards, “Listen to me, sweet baby, let me tell you something …” After Edwards flagged the veteran sportscaster for talking inappropriately, he lashed out at her saying, “Okay, then listen to me a**hole.”

Following his termination, Ron Franklin publicly apologized for his comments, saying, “I said some things I shouldn’t have and am sorry. I deserved to be taken off the Fiesta Bowl.” However, he also filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against ESPN which was eventually settled out of court.

The cause of Franklin’s death has now been revealed to be Covid-related pneumonia. Despite the controversies staining his career, his death was mourned by many colleagues and admirers from the sports world.

“Just heard the sad news that my ⁦former @espn⁩ colleague, Ron Franklin, has passed away. An amazing broadcasting talent & a good man. Was a part of so many great ⁦@Big12Conference⁩ broadcasts with him. RIP, partner,” tweeted his on-air partner Fran Fraschilla.

Fox Sports commentator Tim Brando said, “I’ll close with this, despite what’s out there on the Internet, and some of it is not to flattering, I knew Ron Franklin for 40 years. 15 of those years no one was better in CFB, and in Houston, and Austin he was ROYALTY! In that time he shared much with me. I know I’m not alone.”



“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Ron Franklin, a long time friend of Earl Campbell and family and The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. He was the emcee of our award banquet for the first 7 years. He will be deeply missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” tweeted the official management of the Earl Campbell Award.

“Ron Franklin was my partner for one season of @TexasFootball
and @TexasMBB games on the UT radio network. Ron knew how to tell a story and how to be the eyes and ears of those fans. He was among the best football announcers who ever called a game. #RIP RF,” tweeted Tom Dore.

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